The Democratic Alliance (DA) says that the Public Protector, advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has agreed to investigate former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe, for a R30 million ‘golden handshake’ he received from the power utility.
The DA said it requested the investigation after it emerged that the Eskom board approved a R30 million pension payout to Molefe after only 18 months as CEO of Eskom.
“Following the public outrage surrounding the irregular “golden handshake” which later became a “performance bonus”, and then a “pension payout” – this investigation is long overdue,” said Natasha Mazzone , DA shadow minister of public enterprises.
The controversial executive announced his resignation from the group in November 2016, before being sworn in as an ANC MP in early 2017.
In a statement released at the time, Molefe said his resignation was in the interest of good governance, following the Public Protector’s report into state capture, which showed that Molefe was heavily implicated in the business dealings of the Gupta family.
Molefe made a surprise return to Eskom in May 2017, after the Eskom board invited him back to his previous position.
The official position of Eskom, as recorded in its annual report, is that Molefe in fact took early retirement in 2016, which was then later rescinded by the board when it turned out it was not allowed to pay out R30 million to the executive.
Cancelling Molefe’s early retirement bid automatically reinstated his previous contract, Eskom said at the time.
However, the Eskom board’s plans to get Molefe back in the CEO seat took another turn when it was forced to rescind his reappointment by public enterprises minister, Lynne Brown, at the behest of the ANC, following public outcry.
It further emerged last week, that Molefe was paid R8.9 million – including a R2.1 million bonus – for the eight months he served as CEO of Eskom in the 2016/17 financial year.
Molefe was paid R9.5 million in the prior year, but this was for a full 12 months of work. His 2016/17 salary translates to over R1.1 million a month, compared to the R790,000 he earned in 2015/16.
“It is unacceptable that an individual such as Brian Molefe, who sits deeply in the pockets of the Guptas, is rewarded not for doing a good job for the people of our country, but is paid millions for serving the interests of one family,” said Mazzone.